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Madhouse at the End of the Earth


This title will ship upon release.

This title will ship upon release.

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A new classic of extreme endurance - Into Thin Air meets The Perfect Storm in 19th century Antarctica

About the Author

Julian Sancton read History at Harvard, and is a senior features editor at Departures magazine, where he writes about culture and travel. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, Esquire, The New Yorker, Wired, and Playboy, among other publications. He grew up in Paris and New York and has reported from every continent, including Antarctica, which he first visited while researching this book.


Polar exploration was the space travel of its day. Julian Sancton reminds us why, while sending us on an extraordinary expedition, one that left its crew in the deadly grip of the Antarctic pack for more than a year. He sets us down directly amid the polychromatic ice; when a man goes overboard, so do we. Madhouse at the End of the Earth has it all: Idealism, ingenuity, ambition, explosives, flimflammery, a colourful cast, a blank map, a three-month-long night, penguins (and medicinal penguin meat). A riveting tale, splendidly told. * Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of THE WITCHES and CLEOPATRA *
As harrowing an account of a voyage of exploration as I've read in years. Artfully constructed, written with evenly-paced poise and with a kind of dread-filled assurance, it grips from first sentence to last * Lawrence Osborne, international bestselling author of THE FORGIVEN *
A generation before Shackleton's Endurance, an adventure every bit as bold and dreadful took place at the bottom of the world, led by a band of unimaginably colorful and resolute explorers. In Madhouse at the End of the Earth, Julian Sancton has deftly rescued this forgotten saga from the deepfreeze -- and in the process has given us the next great contribution to polar literature. A wild tale, so well told and immersively researched * Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of In the Kingdom of Ice *
Sancton has given us a riveting true-life horror story, the tale of an ambitious crew of sailors who chased glory but wound up trapped in an icy hellscape with slim chance of survival. Madhouse is that rare non-fiction gem -- an obscure but important history transformed by deep research and note-perfect storytelling into a classic thriller. Reading this book is as much an adventure as the very story it tells * Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of STEVE JOBS and LEONARDO DA VINCI *
With meticulous research and a novelist's keen eye, Sancton has penned one of the most enthralling-and harrowing-adventure stories in years. But more than an adventure story, Madhouse is a remarkable chronicle of the outer limits of human endurance, of the strengths both physical and mental that enabled a small band of explorers, trapped in Antarctic ice for over a year, to survive against the odds while others did not. An unforgettable tale brilliantly told * Scott Anderson, bestselling author of LAWRENCE IN ARABIA *
At once a riveting survival tale and terrifying psychological thriller, Madhouse at the End of the Earth is a mesmerizing, unputdownable read. Julian Sancton has crafted an epic of Antarctic exploration that deserves a place beside Alfred Lansing's immortal classic Endurance * Nathaniel Philbrick, author of IN THE HEART OF THE SEA and VALIANT AMBITION *
[A] riveting history of exploration, ingenuity, and survival...With a cast of intriguing characters and drama galore, this history reads like fiction and will thrill fans of Endurance and In the Kingdom of Ice. A rousing, suspenseful adventure tale * Kirkus Reviews *
Sancton debuts with a riveting account...a well-researched and enthralling portrait of endurance and escape * Publishers Weekly *

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